Sunday, August 19, 2007
The Temptation of Jesus
John 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
The other day I went on a journey to buy a cheap pair of jeans and a shirt which is rare because I rarely do things for myself in regards to self pampering. I went to a predominately black clothing store for youth or young adults since I like my clothes to fit a certain way, no sagging or anything insidious like that but just a little looser than the average joe blow. While there I realized something that my older brothers in Christ have told me.(Pastor John Coleman and Lionel Woods) They are always saying how they have a love for the black man and black culture and want to reach out to them. I on the contrary was opposed to what I thought was an ignorant view of the Gospel. My thoughts were that the Gospel of Christ is for everyone and if Christ is proclaimed accurately and with truth and love that sinners would repent and God's elect would show them self clearly. This is true and I still hold to that position.
My question is: Would I as a black man be more effective speaking to the lost African American brothers or would my wonderful Caucasian pastor? First and foremost; GOD is sovereign and He will save whom He will save. I would like to stop there because that statement is 100% true. After wrestling with this I think that I would have a better chance speaking to a 15-30 year old black man than my pastor. Let me explain why.
My experience while shopping was simply repulsive to me. Soon as I walked into the clothing store I immediately heard a bunch of ignorant, sinful, lust filled music and to accompany that they had videos of women shaking their butts, men flashing materialism, and everything hinged upon the 3 sins that all sins can be drawn from. These 3 things are also the same ways in which Christ was tempted. After searching for what I wanted I also seen shirts with money on them, shirts with all types of ignorant things on them and key chains along with jeans with the images of guns on them. The longer I was in there I saw all of the people in the store who were totally oblivious to the reality of their sin and have been blinded by our cultures constant push to desensitize us to the depravity of our sins.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
1John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
These sins and our sinful desires become more evident when we become more acquainted with the Word of God, otherwise we become unsalted in this world and began to blend like a chameleon within a Brazilian jungle. I see all these people like Jamie Foxx, Ciera, Beyonce Knowles, Usher Raymond, and many others who specialize in making sin look so great and black folks glorify them as if they are role models or something. Wait!! It does not stop there-In the black church we see money hungry pastors glorified like Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Marilyn Hickey, Tony Evans(yes tony fell off as well) Joel Osteen, Ken Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Rick Warren, Paula White, and others glorified as if they are Christians. The Black church especially is inundated with Word of Faith Teaching. 9 out of 10 times when you see a pastor on TV they are not Christians according to God's Word; not because I say so, but rather because God has said according to His Word.
My question is, "are there any reputable black pastors or black leaders?" No No NO-there are none. The ones who are preaching the truth are not exalted but rather suppressed. There are few solid black pastors that I know. I attend a primarily white church in which I love it to death because they are true Christians and their skin color means nothing because we share the same blood of Christ in our veins. Some people I know are too immature to attend a non-black church as if that matters but I seek to enlighten them to see beyond music, worship style, culture and see our common denominator and that is CHRIST and that sound doctrine is preached.
I realize that we don't need to look for these so called Idols or Icons in our culture to cling to but rather we should become that individual who seeks to please God daily with love coupled with truth. When I think of the great Pastors of our time I think of John MacArthur Jr., John Coleman, R. C. Sproul, Paul Washer, John Piper, Aleister Begg, Jim Elliff and many others. Will I be ignorant and not hold to the truth they expouse? No, I will take hold of that truth and proclaim it to whomever is willing to listen but in that I take on a larger responsibility knowing that God has equipped me to speak the language of my generation and with that I have a two way street to use to reach the lost because I know of the language my generation speaks.
Please, if you have suggestions leave comments. What is the problem with the black culture today? Or is there any difference at all? Is it just sin as the common denominator regardless of the culture or race? God Bless